Prepping a business for growth is hard. Even in the best of times, the path forward can seem unclear. In an unstable market, even veteran entrepreneurs may feel at a loss. If you're struggling to scale your business, here are five foundational strategies for expanding your company in the next year.
Many business owners develop tunnel vision when it comes to their general ledgers. Going into the red temporarily isn't the end of the world. Consider alternative sources of funding if sales revenue just isn't enough to fuel the expansion you want. Buying stock in other companies is a good way of getting the money you do have to work for you. There are also a wide variety of small business loans available through both the government and private interests that are designed specifically to help growing companies. Keep your mind open and research all the options.
The most important part of a successful sales campaign is the knowledge you gain through marketing research. There are two main ways to go about this. Qualitative research focuses on learning about the wants and feelings of customers; focus groups are a classic method of accomplishing this. Quantitative research draws upon hard statistics to get a picture of the market. Scientific polling and data-driven survey questionnaires are good ideas, but so is doing a deep dive into the general opinions of the public and the trajectory of popular culture. Learn the difference between fleeting trends and the emerging markets that seem poised to stand the test of time.
In 2020, worldwide social media advertising spending hit a staggering $132 billion. That's because it works. One way to leverage social media is to use it as a platform for offering fast and simple customer service. Why put customers through the pain of talking to robots when studies show that 74% of them prefer texting with a live operator? Another good growth solution is to build partnerships with online influencers in your industry. The diversity of channels allows influencers to build loyal followings within a specific niche, so consider partnering with them to expand both your reach and reputation.
An oft-cited study by tech company First Insight revealed a telling statistic. It found that consumers consider product quality over price by 53% to 38% when making a purchasing decision. Whether it's high-quality components or top-notch aesthetics, quality products engender more customer loyalty than cheap ones. Another truth is that hundreds of businesses probably have similar offerings to yours. Making your products singular is therefore powerful. Any bartender can make a Manhattan, but a signature drink is something you can only get at one pub out of thousands. People are willing to pay good money for something special, so make it your mission to offer them something special.
Think of a sales funnel as the map you make to guide people to become your customers. The "top" of the funnel is what draws prospective customers to you, like marketing and branding. The "bottom" is where they make the actual purchase. Everything in between is a journey. The trick is to make this journey as smooth as possible by making it convenient and hassle-free for both yourself and the consumer.
Using automated tools like customer resource management (CRM) software to help systematize and maintain contacts can be a huge time-saver. Something else to keep in mind is the need to nurture prospects. This might take the form of follow-up emails and special offers, but updating your media and landing pages with fresh, eye-catching content on a consistent basis also plays a vital role in keeping your offerings interesting and relevant.
The most effective business owners are those who plan well for the future. Keep these tips in mind when developing your strategy for future growth and success.
Publish Date: December 9, 2021 5:08 PM